Treatment of Pfeiffer's glandular fever


Pfeiffer's glandular fever is also called:

  • Pfeiffer glandular fever
  • Mononucleosis
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Monocyte angina
  • Pfeiffer's disease
  • Kiss sickness (kissing disease)
  • Epstein-Barr


Fever is a very typical symptom of Pfeiffer's glandular fever

The term "Pfeiffer's glandular fever" is understood in medical terminology as an infectious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.
In most cases, Pfeiffer's glandular fever is a harmless virus infection that heals completely. On average, around 95 percent of all people in Europe become infected with the responsible virus at least once by the age of 30.

Since the disease proceeds completely without symptoms in most cases (especially in children under 10 years of age), an infection can only be confirmed by the detection of antibodies in the blood.
Young people and adults in particular develop flu-like symptoms after contact with the Epstein-Barr virus.
Pfeiffer's glandular fever causes complications only in the rarest of cases.


What exactly the affected patients can do during the illness phase depends on their own general condition. This can vary greatly depending on the patient and the course of the disease.

If you have a high fever, you should ensure that you drink enough fluids.

During infectious diseases that are accompanied by a high fever, the organism usually loses large amounts of fluids.
This fact is mainly due to the increased perspiration and the activation of the immune system.

In order to accelerate healing, it is therefore of the utmost importance to consume more water than usual.
In particularly severe cases, hospitalization for venous fluid administration can also be useful and necessary.

In addition, the affected patients can treat the fever and, if they feel very weak and sleepy, various antipyretic drugs (Antipyretics) take in.

Pfeiffer's glandular fever is a difficult-to-treat viral infection.
In contrast to bacterial infectious diseases, taking antibiotics does not make sense in the case of viral diseases.

First and foremost, the patient should be given plenty of rest. In the first few days after the onset of the disease, it is essential to keep bed rest.
Sleep and physical rest are particularly helpful in giving the body the strength to fight the viruses.

Unfortunately, there is currently no special preparation for the treatment of Pfeiffer's glandular fever.

How can you treat the fever?

Antipyretic therapy, i.e. the treatment of fever for Pfeiffer's glandular fever, can easily be carried out at home after consulting a doctor.

In children it is important that the dosage of the drug is adapted to their weight.
There are several forms in which the medication can be taken, such as

  • Tablets,
  • Juice or
  • Suppositories.

A proven drug is, for example, ibuprofen.
This also works against the pain and is also anti-inflammatory.

From a temperature of 39 ° it is advisable to take antipyretic medication.
Paracetamol should be avoided if the liver is involved.

Find out more about this: How can you lower a fever?

In this context, however, it should be noted that the fever is in most cases quite positive for the healing process.
Increasing the core body temperature (fever) can help to inhibit the replication of the viruses and prevent them from spreading.

For this reason, lowering the fever should really only be initiated in the event of malaise and / or increasing deterioration in the general condition.

A general reduction in fever from a certain temperature (this is usually recommended from around 39.5 ° C) is therefore not recommended for virus infections such as Pfeiffer's glandular fever.

When do you need an antibiotic?

Basically, it is very important that no antibiotic is required for an uncomplicated form of Pfeiffer's glandular fever and the use of an antibiotic is contraindicated.

The disease is caused by the Epstein Barr virus and antibiotics only act on bacteria.

If an aminopenicillin, such as amoxicillin or ampicillin, is mistakenly given, it can cause an itchy rash.
But there is also a lot that those affected can do about these side effects. Soothing creams and ointments are particularly suitable for relieving the itching associated with rashes.

In addition, the development of dangerous resistance to antibiotics is promoted if it is used without authorization.

However, since an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus is accompanied by an additional bacterial infection in around 10 percent of cases, taking an antibiotic can be very useful for this disease.
In this context, it must be clear to the patient concerned that this antibiotic is only used to combat the bacterial pathogens.
The Eppstein-Barr virus remains completely unaffected.

Which antibiotic is the best?

Aminopenicillins are contraindicated in Pfeiffer's glandular fever because they can trigger a skin reaction that is very unpleasant for the patient, the drug eruption.
These include ampicillin or amoxicillin.

Which antibiotic is the best then depends on the form in which the additional infection with a bacterium took place.
So-called bacterial superinfection occurs in 10% of cases.
Depending on the clinical findings and the spectrum of pathogens, the attending physician must then select the antibiotic that is most effective for the patient.

How can you treat the rash?

The rash that is triggered by the incorrect administration of antibiotics in Pfeiffer's glandular fever usually lasts for several days.
It can take three days for the rash to spread on the body.
Then it usually takes 14 days until it disappears again.

As a first initiative, the antibiotic should be stopped immediately. This is not a classic allergy to an antibiotic, but a reaction of the body as part of the Epstein-Barr virus infection.

After eliminating the trigger, the focus is then on relieving the itchiness. For this purpose, locally applicable creams can be used for greasing.
You can also choose from ointments with glucocorticoids or antihistamines. This can reduce the body's response.
It is important that interactions with the other medication are excluded.

Scratching when itching should be avoided to prevent scarring.
If necessary, gloves can help to prevent you from scratching yourself unconsciously while you sleep.

Read more about this: Rash After Taking Antibiotics - This Is What You Should Do.

Home remedies

In the treatment of glandular fever, symptom relief plays an important role. In particular, tried and tested home remedies can quickly and efficiently lead to an improvement in the symptoms. The sick often suffer from a high fever. Fever quickly leads to fluid loss, which can be very dangerous, especially in children. To counteract this, should made sure to drink enough become. Liquids in the form of water, juices or broth can counteract the loss of water and lower the fever. Calf wrap are also often used to lower fever. To reduce the swelling of the mucous membranes, you can cooling quark compresses on the neck be made. Gargle with salt water has an anti-inflammatory effect and also relieves the painful swelling of the lymph nodes. The Drink ginger or chamomile tea Also has an anti-inflammatory effect and soothes the irritated mucous membranes.


In the treatment of Pfeiffer's glandular fever, the naturopathic approach of homeopathy takes place in today's society is becoming increasingly important a. The use of homeopathic remedies primarily leads to an alleviation of the symptomatic complaints, the lowering of fever and the swelling of the irritated and reddened mucous membranes.
As a homeopathic remedy for the treatment of fever is often used Belladona used. Belladona reduces inflammatory processes and leads to a regulation of body temperature. Other means of treating Pfeiffer's glandular fever are Aconite and Ferrum phosphoricum. These agents also do one Lower fever and alleviate acute restlessness.
Patients suffering from Pfeiffer's glandular fever often suffer from irritated and swollen mucous membranes, especially in the throat area. The application of Belladona or Potassium chloratum leads to a Decongestion of the irritated mucous membrane, has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces the painful swelling of the lymph nodes.

All homeopathic remedies are given in tablet form and can be dissolved in a little water. Overall, homeopathic remedies can significantly support the treatment process by strengthening the body and helping the immune system to activate the body's own repair systems.

Schüssler salts

Schüssler salts are mainly used when there is a fresh inflammatory process. In Pfeiffer's glandular fever, infection with the EBV virus leads to a strong inflammatory reaction, which is an ideal point of attack for treatment with Schüssler salts. Become to the salts Ferrum phosphoricum, Potassium phosphoricum, Potassium chloratum, such as Sodium sulfuricum counted. They can be administered in tablet form 3 to 6 times a day before meals. You can combine several salts with each other. Overall, they have an anti-inflammatory effect and also alleviate symptomatic complaints such as fever, fatigue and states of physical restlessness.

How can you treat the sore throat or swollen tonsils?

A common symptom of Pfeiffer's glandular fever is a sore throat with swollen tonsils.

Typical of the Epstein Barr Virus is a grayish, foul-smelling coating on the tonsils.

  • Ibuprofen can be used for sore throats.
  • A sufficient amount of water to drink
  • Tea,
  • Lollipops,
  • Throat sprays and
  • Nasal sprays can relieve the symptoms and help moisten the throat area.
  • In the case of severely swollen tonsils, glucocorticoids can be inhaled, but effectiveness in EBV has not been proven.

Certain antibiotics should be avoided because tonsillitis is not caused by a bacterium and can cause a rash.

You might also be interested in: Sore throat - what to do?

Differences from adult to child

The treatment of Pfeiffer's glandular fever in adults and children is largely identical.
Above all, it should be ensured that the sick person is resting and allowing the body to rest and that the fever is effectively lowered in order to counteract any loss of fluid. In contrast to adults, younger children tend to lose fluids more quickly because, on the one hand, they store much more water in the connective tissue and, on the other hand, they refuse to eat and drink more frequently when they feel bad. Fluid loss due to fever plays a major role, especially in young children, as the immune system in them is not yet fully developed to fight pathogens and the development of elevated temperatures is the body's first rapid defense mechanism.
The choice of antipyretic agents must also be adjusted in children. In contrast to treatment in adults, the dose of drugs such as paracetamol or ibuprofen must be reduced. In younger children, the infection is often not recognized at all or is mistaken for angina. If Pfeiffer's glandular fever occurs in adults over 30 years of age, the disease is often atypical with muscle pain and fatigue that last for weeks. In severe cases, cortisone therapy or therapy with antivirals such as acyclovir or ganciclovir may also be necessary in adults to alleviate the symptoms. Since the pathogen is transmitted via the exchange of saliva, it is particularly important to ensure that adolescents and adults do not kiss. This is the only way to avoid the transmission of pathogens and prevent infection from other people.

You can find a lot more information under our topic: Glandular fever in the child

Special features of treatment in the child

The infection in the general population with the Epstein Barr virus is almost 100% among 40-year-olds, so that almost everyone must have had glandular fever at one point or another.
However, not everyone can remember an episode of illness with the virus.

This is because the course of Pfeiffer's glandular fever in children is often asymptomatic or the symptoms are very weak.

If children experience symptoms, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Has a child

  • therapy-resistant fever,
  • Fever for more than three days or
  • a severely reduced general condition, a doctor must be consulted.

Abdominal pain under the ribs on the left side may indicate an enlarged spleen and must be clarified with an ultrasound examination.
If this is the case, physical rest must take place, as there is a risk of a ruptured spleen.

It is particularly difficult to maintain bed rest with young children.
Abdominal pain under the right ribs may indicate liver involvement and should have a blood test.

Special features of treatment in the baby

In babies with an infection by Pfeiffer's glandular fever, as with so many diseases in a baby, diagnosis is made more difficult by unspecific symptoms.
It is therefore possible that the disease is not recognized in the first place or only late.

If a baby has a fever that lasts for a long time, it is essential to ensure that there is sufficient fluid intake.
It is feared that the baby will become dehydrated from the elevated temperatures.
It is important that attention is paid to the course of the weight and the general condition of the child is considered.

Please also read: What to do if your baby has a fever

How is chronic glandular glandular fever treated?

Chronic glandular glandular fever describes a chronically active infection with the Epstein Barr virus over a period of at least three months.

This places a special burden on the body, as the immune system is exposed to an active virus for a very long time.

As there is still no clinically proven therapy for chronic Pfeiffer's glandular fever, the focus of treatment is on improving symptoms and supporting the immune system.
With this in mind, one tries to lower the fever with medication.
Often the active ingredients used also cause pain therapy at the same time.

It is also important to ensure that you are drinking enough fluids.
Possible rare complications such as a ruptured spleen or an inflammation of the heart should also be recognized as early as possible.

Some successful attempts to treat chronic Pfeiffer's glandular fever have been made with antivirals, such as acyclovir, or tissue hormones, such as interleukin-2, which support the immune system in defending itself against the virus.
In severe cases, clinical studies report stem cell transplants that led to healing.